Will humans lose their control to smart machines?

|June 10, 2015 0 25 billion devices will be connected by 2020

BANGALORE, INDIA: The growth of sensor-based data combined with advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling smart machines to make increasingly significant business decisions over which humans have decreasing control, according to Gartner, Inc.

“As smart machines become increasingly capable, they will become viable alternatives to human workers under certain circumstances, which will lead to significant repercussions for the business and thus for CIOs,” said Stephen Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

“In the 2015 Gartner CEO and business leader survey, opinions were equally divided on this issue and indicate that business leaders are starting to take notice of the advances being made and more readily acknowledge that the threat to knowledge work is real.”

                                 

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Already the growing capabilities of automation and robotics have led to their increasing deployment in a wide range of industrial and business environments, which has prompted debate as to their impact on existing jobs in sectors such as manufacturing.

“As smart machines become more capable, and more affordable, they will be more widely deployed in multiple roles across many industries, replacing some human workers. This is nothing new. The deployment of new technology has eliminated millions of jobs over the course of history,” said Prentice.

During the next five years, Gartner predicts that smart machines will inevitably be relied on to make more decisions that are of growing significance to the business, raising the fear that they may become “unstoppable” or run out of control.

Additionally, the explosive growth of sensors, both physical and virtual, will provide smart machines with more “perception” and context of the physical world, enabling them to work more autonomously in support of business goals, leaving CIOs to highlight the risks and opportunities involved.

The numbers of sensors, each collecting data in an automated fashion, is set to grow rapidly — Gartner estimates more than 25 billion devices will be connected by 2020. It will create a massive increase in this background data collection.

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